Saturday, November 29, 2008

Set Adrift by Lands End...

Lands' End is my favorite store. I shop there as frequently as my budget will allow. Their clothes are classic, good quality, and they fit me quite nicely. Gram happens to like their clothing very much, too.

Today I was shopping at Sears in the Lands' End department. They had peacoats on sale for 30% off. Gram has wanted one for quite some time and I thought it would make a great Christmas gift for her. She tried on a couple and we decided that she really needed the petite.
They didn't have anything in a petite.
She wanted black.
They only had navy blue.
We decided to try another store to see if maybe they might have what she wanted.
I called Lands' End from the second store to request the coat be sent since they didn't have the size or the color in the store. I was told that I could have the coat, but not at the 30% off price.
You know... that's just not fair.

The coat is not an inexpensive item. The 30% discount comes to approximately $30.

We tried everything to find this coat.

If I want it, I'll have to pay full price.
I'm not sure I want it that badly.
The coat is lovely, but...
They did offer me free shipping.
Lucky me... I already have a code - one they sent me in this morning's email

So, Lands' End, my very full shopping cart sits at your website waiting to check out. You could have had a very lucrative sale had you honored the 30% discount. You would have more than made up the $30.

Hmmm... I wonder if LL has a peacoat.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I'm telling you in advance, so don't act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes: Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I've gotten the grandkids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas. Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like
decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The artist assures me it is a turkey.

We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds.

As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.

We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate a separate door.

Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small,
unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat. I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that "passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty bread.

Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it.

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. She probably won't come next year either. For that, I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things I Learned in 8th Grade English and More

1. 8th grade boys can fart on demand.

2. 8th grade boy farts don't smell as bad as 55 year old man farts.

3. 8th grade girls think they can pass notes in class and not get caught.

4. 8th graders are not smart. If you are in the 3rd English class of the day, you should not tell the sub that the teacher gives you the answers. The sub knows that you lie!

5. 8th graders cannot stop talking.

Mr. sent me this in an email and I thought that my 8th grade English Students might learn a thing or two from it...


1. A day without sunshine is like night.

2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

5. Remember, half the people you know are below average..

6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.

9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

13. How many of you believe in psychokinesis? Raise my hand.

14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?

20. Why do psychics have to ask you your name?

21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, 'What the heck happened?'

22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.

23. Light travels faster than sound.. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

24. Life isn't like a box of chocolates, it's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Off to School

I'm off to sub for English at the middle school today.
Wish me luck!

Yesterday the high school band director and I went to see a possible band camp site. It was lovely. The cabins were nice. The field is new. The dining hall is not too far from the cabin site. If it were up to me, I'd say we are going... But it needs to go for a vote.

Tomorrow I'll fill you in on the rest of my life.
Have a great day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Weekend with Tim Waugh

(Hi Tim! I know you'll be reading this.)

We had the Area III Youth Festival in Richmond this past weekend. Tim Waugh was our clinician.

My school kids were pretty funny. They enjoyed Tim very much. They did say that they thought Tim was just some old guy until he turned around and they could see his pony tail. Then he became a cool old guy. LOL!

LLB came along with me just to ring under Tim's direction.

When I asked what she thought of the weekend, she told me that she would have liked the experience more if she could have had Tim Waugh be her teacher in a small group. (Yeah - and so would I...) She said there were too many people - you think 450 ringers is too many? - and that she would have liked to ask him some questions and even get closer to see better. She also told me she would have liked a little time to get to know him.

She enjoyed the way he made things fun and understandable - like that 5/4 - 6/8 sight reading piece. Tim showed us his thigh slapping, hand flipping, head nodding thing. She thought that even the kids back at school could understand that!

LLB is very slow to warm up to people.
Tim, you have made quite an impression and you have another HUGE fan!

Thanks for a great weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting My Stuff Together

The snacks are in the car.

The music is in the car. Well, the music that arrived anyway. It seems that I am 9 copies short for one piece because that piece is back ordered. I have the original receipt from the supplier with me and I've written in ink on the rehearsal copies that that piece is back ordered. It took me a month to get the first 10 copies. It will probably take me until spring to get the next 9.

The box of things from the printer is in the car.

The suitcase is packed - for the most part. Toothbrushes and hairbrushes and a couple of last minute items - like the pair of pants that are in the wash have to go in.

The PTO meeting went well. I have the email version of the newsletter ready to go.

The camera is charging.

I guess you could say that I'm almost ready...

The poop did hit the fan again yesterday - it seems that the coach is upset that these 3 girls are going to miss the sports banquet. She was so upset that she swore at my DOM. My boss is classy, though, and didn't give her what she deserved. She was gracious and told the coach that music is an academic subject for which these girls receive a grade and that if they miss the rehearsal, they will be behind for the rest of the event. The coach could care less... typical - if you ask me... The head of the Athletic Department wants the girls to go with us. I find that refreshing. He told the DOM that the girls could be honored at another time. That this banquet is really no big deal.

Yesterday afternoon the DOM came to us and asked us how far we wanted her to take this thing on principle. I threw my hands up. I really don't care.. but, they aren't kids from my class. The other teacher is going to fix their boats. She is re-assigning their bells!! They will be assigned to bells that don't ring often. They are not going to be rewarded for missing a rehearsal. She's slick!! It's an excellent solution.

Watching this unfold is almost better than a soap opera!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Knickers Untwisting...

Well, it's amazing what 24 hours - or so - can do!

It seems that I was not the only one who was upset that 3 of our students would be arriving late. It looks like the headmaster got in on the issue and guess what? He didn't like it either.

Part of the problem with these 3 kids arriving late is the drive. It is a long dark deer ridden road which they have to travel. It's one thing to have a parent take the responsibility - a totally different thing to let a very young coach do that.

The coach was trying to make it so the kids could participate in both activities.

Unfortunately she didn't think about the commitment issue. The second part of the problem. The kids committed to the festival back in September. The paperwork went home to the families on the first day of school. I had the registrations in and paid, the hotel reservations made, and chaperones lined up on September 15th.

So, the room assignments have been changed again - I haven't seen the list and right now, I don't much care who is in what room as long as they are all in a room with a parent.

I retrieved my paperwork from the printer yesterday afternoon. It is perfect!

I am only waiting on music to arrive from Jeffers. I will call them at 9 to see where they sent it. I asked them to send it to the house, but I kinda think they sent it to the school. It is probably in the black hole commonly known as: The Mail Room.

The laundry is done. LLB's clothing is in a pile waiting to be packed. I will pack the suitcases later today and be done with it. Tonight, after my PTO meeting, I will pack the car and heave a sigh of relief.

Tomorrow afternoon I will retrieve LLB from school and head to Richmond where I will meet the other volunteers for dinner. We will laugh, we will stuff packets, and we will enjoy the calm before the storm that is Friday. The best part of these events - spending time with people we enjoy but don't get to see very often. My roomie is from North Carolina and I only see her a couple times a year. We usually end up staying up WAY too late talking - and we talk fast! There's a lot to cover in very little time...

The weekend will be a blast! LLB is going to ring with Kath W.'s group and Tim Waugh is the clinician for the event. Tim is the reason she is going to this event. I want her to experience ringing under this phenomenal director.

As I've told her:
It's one thing to be directed by your mom...
It's a whole other thing to be directed by Tim Waugh!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coming Up For Air...

I've been so busy...
I'll fill you all in next week.

Here's a quick synopsis of my life:
Program Chair for Handbell Festival coming up this weekend. All flyers are at printer and should be ready by Wednesday. If not, I will puke!
Handbell Festival this weekend means that my school kids need to be ready to go... planning all of that and having a parent change all my room assignments, decide it was okay for some kids to arrive at midnight, and basically change my plans for me has my knickers in a twist. A big old twist!
My church handbell choir played in church on Sunday - they did great. Played Jazz Pizzicato and Joy & Elation.
Had HOA meeting at our house Sunday afternoon... involved food.
Took formal pix of band kids - two sittings because some of them were ill - and now they all have to be ordered and of course today and only today is free shipping.
New flute hit pavement last night when case opened by itself... It was closed when I put it in there, but somehow it opened. I was NOT happy - could have just cried. Flute is now on the way to the fixit shop.
PTO Chair - meeting this week as in tomorrow. Agenda not made. Going to wing it.
Assistant Principal tried to ask me to sub this week. I said NO.
Proud of me?
You should be.

Catch you all next week.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Best Chicken Recipe Ever

My Aunt sent me this chicken recipe in an email this morning.

This is a chicken recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing -- imagine that. When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when poultry is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out. Give this a try.

4 - 5 lb. Chicken
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is Good.)
1 cup uncooked popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER'S LOW FAT)
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush chicken well with melted butter, salt, and pepper.
Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven. Listen for the popping sounds.

When the chicken's ass blows the oven door open and the chicken flies across the room, it's done.

And, you thought I couldn't cook...

The things we do...

Tonight is the last football game of the year. Can you hear me cheering?

Not only is tonight the last football game, it's away. Oh and did I mention that we have a competition in Allentown, PA tomorrow morning?
In order for us to make our step off time, we need to be at the school at...
Yes, that's 2:30 in the morning.
Yes... that's mighty early.

Because most of us live more than 30 minutes from the school, the band director took pity on us and decided to have a lock-in for the kids. So.. not only do we get to spend all evening and all day tomorrow with these lovely folks, we get to spend the night with them, too.

We get to sleep on the gym floor.
My #1 is sooo excited!
He lives for this stuff.
Me.. not so much.
My hip hurts just thinking about sleeping on that hard wood floor.

Because this venue is so far, Mr. is coming with us to be in the pit crew. He spent all of last year doing pit, but was off the hook this year because I'm Uniform Mom extraordinaire and LLB couldn't ride the bus due to lack of space.

Today and tomorrow - the man is back in the pit.

So, if you wake up in the middle of the night, think of us...
Sleeping on the gym floor and then on the bus.

It's all fun and games.... And next year, we're doing it as a family - all 4 of us!
Oooh... I can't wait!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things Ladybug is Thinking About Today

1. Kids make me crazy...

2. I took the band kids formal pictures LAST Friday. MANY of them didn't show up for me to take their picture.

3. I ran into some of their their parents and mentioned that they didn't come in.

4. It seems their progeny tried to pull a fast one.

5. I am going back in this Friday to take pictures of said progeny.

6. I'm only going because their parents asked me if I would.

7. Did I mention that this is a fundraiser?

8. Did I mention that I don't get anything for doing this besides a giant headache?

9. Speaking of fundraisers... Our band parents sell school spirit wear. It seems we have a monopoly on spirit wear at our school. The principal decides who is going to sell what. The band gets spirit wear. The Athletic Boosters get food. DECA gets draw string bags. Theater has their thing... the list goes on.

10. I arrived at last week's football game to discover that the Athletic Boosters were selling spirit wear IN FRONT of our concession stand. Excuse me??

11. When asked, the principal said that they were seniors. Yah... so? Does that mean that our band seniors can sell food in front of the Athletic Booster concession stand?

12. I think this may warrant a letter to the editor...

13. Anyone wanna help me write it?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Back to the grind...

Today is Wednesday.
It will be a quiet day for me.
I'm going to do my bills, toss some laundry in, get my house in order, and if I'm lucky, I'll even watch a little TV. I have to teach my class this afternoon and then pick up LLB from school. Tonight, we are having a family dinner.

I'm not running anywhere.
I'm staying put - unless someone calls and wants to go to lunch. THAT, I can be talked into. :-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The logic of it all...

Okay, I'm going to shoot my wad and then say nothing more.

First - It's not the government's job to take care of anyone. If the government has a "program" it just means that "someone" has had to pay for it. That "someone" - is you! The government only has as much money as it gets in taxes from YOU. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Second - Redistribution of wealth - that's socialism. You want to live in a socialist state? Go... leave my country the way it is.

Third - The Armed Forces protect our country and our freedom. The soldiers who are off fighting overseas are protecting our country. You want them home? They want to finish what they started. Just ask them.

Fourth - If you plan to tax businesses, guess what? Those businesses are going to raise their prices to cover the tax. Who ends up paying? The middle class... that would be you. So, you won't be paying taxes directly... but you'll be paying.

A friend sent me this - it's words from a bumper sticker:

I'll keep my freedom, my guns, and my money.
You can keep THE CHANGE"

I'm so there.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Narcisstic... You bet!

I got this in an email:

It was written by Ali Sina. I checked it out. I like what it says. It also makes me very nervous... Read it - all of it.

I must confess, I was not impressed by Sen. Barack Obama from the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident, a wholesome presidential package. I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words. Obama's speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such a quasi "religious" impact on so many people. The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero accomplishment makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming. Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact, he is quite ignorant on most important subjects. Barack Obama is a narcissist. Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of "Malignant Self Love," also believes, "Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist."

Vaknin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands it and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism everyone listens. Vaknin says that Obama's language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, nearest and dearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves. Jim Jones, the charismatic leader of People's Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers to cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children was also a narcissist. Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Joe Stalin, Saddam, Mao Zedong, Kim Jong IL, and Adolph Hitler are a few examples of narcissists of our time. All these men had a tremendous influence over their fanciers and followers. They created a personality cult around themselves, and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirer's souls, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life. Those men gave their followers hope! They promised them the moon, but alas, they invariably brought them to their doom. When you are a victim of a cult of personality, you don't know it until it is too late.

One determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse. "Obama's early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations," says Vaknin. "Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. His mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia, a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a stepfather. He was raised as an only child, full of himself and no others. He never had to share the spotlight with any siblings. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995."

One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing personality that it overwhelms those around them. Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service. The narcissist shapes the world around him and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality; his admirers become his co-dependents.

Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objectives. They are focused on one thing alone, and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and does not deserve their attention. If an issue raised in the Senate does not help Obama in one way or another, he has no interest in it. The "Present" vote is a safe vote; he used the "Present" all the time as a member of the Illinois legislature. No one can criticize him if things go wrong. Why should he implicate himself in issues that may become controversial when they don't help him personally? Those issues are unworthy by their very nature because they are not about him.

Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and an advance to write a book about race relations. The University of Chicago Law School provided him with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. The book took him a lot longer than expected and at the end it devolved into., guess what? His own autobiography! Instead of writing a scholarly paper focusing on race relations, for which he had been paid, Obama could not resist writing about his most sublime self. He entitled the book "Dreams from My Father."

Not surprisingly, Adolph Hitler also wrote his own autobiography when he was still nobody. So did Stalin. For a narcissist no subject is as important as his own self. Why would he waste his precious time and genius writing about insignificant things when he can write about such an august being as himself? Narcissists are often callous and even ruthless. As the norm, they lack conscience. This is evident from Obama's lack of interest in his own brother who lives on only one dollar per month. A man who lives in luxury, who takes a private jet to vacation in Hawaii, and who has raised nearly a half billion dollars for his campaign (something unprecedented in history) has no interest in the plight of his own brother. Why? His brother cannot be used for his ascent to power. A narcissist cares for no one but himself.

This election is like no other election in the history of America. The issues are insignificant compared to what is at stake. What can be more dangerous than having a man bereft of a conscience, a serial liar, and one who cannot distinguish his fantasies from reality as the leader of the free world?

I hate to sound alarmist, but one must be a fool if one is not alarmed. Many politicians are narcissists. They pose no threat to others. They are simply self-serving and selfish. [Witness Al Gore's Income Tax; it reveals that he gave away NO MONEY to charities, not even to a church!] Obama evinces symptoms of pathological narcissism, which is different from the run-of-the-mill narcissism of a Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton, for example. To him reality and fantasy are intertwined. This is a mental health issue, not just a character flaw. Pathological narcissists are dangerous because they look normal and even intelligent. It is this disguise that makes them treacherous. [Look up the word 'treachery.']

Today the Democrats have placed all their hopes in Obama. But this man could put an end to their party [and to this great nation]. The great majority of blacks have also decided to vote for Obama. Only a fool does not know that their support for him is racially driven.

Let us call a spade a spade [No pun intended]. This is racism, pure and simple. The truth is that, while everyone carries a misconceived collective guilt towards blacks for wrongs done centuries ago by a bygone people to a bygone people, the blacks carry a collective rancor, enmity or vendetta towards non-blacks, and to this day want to "stand up" to the white man. They seem to be stuck in 19th century [encouraged by race baiters like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others].

The downside of this is, that if Obama turns out to be the disaster I predict, he will cause widespread resentment among the whites. The blacks are unlikely to give up their support of their man. Cultic mentality is pernicious and unrelenting. They will dig their heads deeper in the sand and blame Obama's detractors of racism. This will cause a backlash among the whites. The white supremacists will take advantage of the discontent and they will receive widespread support. I predict that in less than four years, racial tensions will increase to levels not seen since the turbulent 1960s. Obama will set the clock back decades. Americais the bastion of freedom. The peace of the world depends on the strength of America, and its weakness translates into the triumph of terrorism and victory of rogue nations. It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Maoist Castroists, the Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists, and virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect of "their man" in the White House. America is on the verge of destruction. There is no insanity greater than electing a pathological narcissist as president.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

One More Item...

You all know that I don't like to talk politics over here, but Norma - from Collecting My Thoughts - found an interesting article about Health Care that I think everyone should read BEFORE you cast your vote on Tuesday:

The article brings up a few key points including a fact that we, here at The Crossing, are very familiar with: Canada's health care system - how can I say this nicely??? - stinks. We have family in Canada. We have a family member who had to wait 6 months to get an MRI for a shoulder injury. We have another family member who had to wait longer for a CT scan. Here in the US, we get an MRI and or a CT scan the same day as the injury. We HAD family in Canada who died before they could get the testing/diagnosis that would have led to a cure. We found out post-mortem what they had and how easily their death could have been prevented. Do NOT tell me that socialized medicine works. It just doesn't.

Oh, and one more thing... Why do you think people from all over the world - including Canada and England - come to the US for health care? It certainly isn't because it's so awful...